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  1. #31

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    In the case of film, it's certainly true that a proliferation of inexpensive equipment hasn't resulted in better photographs. Neither do I believe the popularity of zoom lenses, with the supposed flexibility they provide, gave way to an increase in great shots. The fact is making a really good photograph is an extremely difficult thing to do. There are no easy formulas, or short cuts and the gear we use is the least of our problems in making it happen.

    Unless you're working commercially (sports, fashion, interiors, etc) excess equipment just gets in the way.

  2. #32
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Photography is probably the easiest medium in which to produce an image, but the most difficult medium in which to produce a work of art.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  3. #33
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    The other thing that should be taken into account is just because the OP blog did it for a year doesn't mean we have to be sheep and do the same thing.

    But it still may be a valid exercise or project to do it for a specific time, or as a test of ourselves.

    Worrying about missing that award winning shot because you had the wrong lens is either overly dramatic or overstating your case, and if the exercise doesn't work for you then don't do it.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  4. #34
    blansky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    Photography is probably the easiest medium in which to produce an image, but the most difficult medium in which to produce a work of art.
    I thought a while back we decided we couldn't define "art".
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  5. #35
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    The point of one camera, one lens, one film (and one developer) is to eliminate the variables so that one knows:
    How to see
    How the camera is used
    The camera
    The lens
    The film
    The chemistry
    Once those are learned then changing lenses or changing the film allows one to see the difference of the changes.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  6. #36
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    So which lens would you choose?

    If you are like me, scenes that favour use of a wider angle lens tend to be more likely to resonate than scenes that favour use of a longer lens.

    So do you choose a lens that you already like a lot, or do you choose something that will stretch your perceptions?
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Brown View Post
    I DO agree with this! In fact, most of the discussion on line and in person with other photographers is about the technical aspects, and not the art. If I may be so bold as to generalize: it's because most people are not photographers, but merely camera owner/operators. They haven't forgotten how to see, they never saw anything in the first place.
    It's also a *lot* harder to say something sensible about the artistic aspects of photography. Even people who are really good at them have a hard time articulating how they think about composition and light and line; and most of us are still trying to get good enough to have anything *to* articulate. By comparison, understanding the technicalities is fairly easy, and there's a well-developed language for talking about those...so we do.

    Also, gear is fun. I think there are a lot of us (certainly I include myself) for which exploring the tools is a significant pleasure in itself. That activity isn't the same as artistic photography, but there's no reason they can't coexist, is there?

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  8. #38
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    Also, gear is fun. I think there are a lot of us (certainly I include myself) for which exploring the tools is a significant pleasure in itself. That activity isn't the same as artistic photography, but there's no reason they can't coexist, is there?
    Certainly not. The whole history of photography as a medium whether it be as art, profession, document, hobby, gear lust, etc has been one of people interested in making images and those who love equipment. The breadth and choice of equipment we have available to us has always been driven by enthusiasts who love gear. We all benefit from this as it creates a market that manufacturers want to exploit.

    Probably the smallest group of photographers is those who are only interested in making images. Thereafter comes those who like making images but equally like playing with the gear and the largest group of people are made up of those who either use cameras to record their lives (hence the explosion in phone cameras) and those who simply love getting the latest piece of gear.

    Whatever motivates people to take up photography is irrelevant if they enjoy what they are doing. I do not understand the craze for using cameras such as Holgas, etc but I am very pleased that, in using film cameras, these people help to keep film photography alive and that I can still buy the materials I want for my photography.

    The main point of the OP was, I think, that too many people who started out wanting to concentrate on making images get wrapped up in all the gear and technical options available to the detriment of making good photographs. I do not think anyone would seriously say that someone MUST only use one camera, lens, film, developer, paper for all applications of photography but, rather, that for a particular project, way of working, area of interest using only one camera, film, developer, paper can really sharpen your vision. If you do it long enough, you never 'miss' an image because of having the wrong lens, etc simply because you are so concentrated on what images you can make with your chosen combo and see them to the exclusion of anything else.

    Certainly, for my work, using one camera, lens, film, developer paper for the past 12 years has resulted in me achieving a very high 'success' rate per film of images that I will print for exhibitions. It is not a solution for everyone and should not be interpreted as such. I have recently got a new camera (of the same format as my current combo) with a slightly longer lens and plan to use this over the coming months to see how it may or may not affect the images I choose to make. This will be a process of learning to see my chosen subject in a slightly different way. If I like the results then I will sell my current camera. If, after so many years being comfortable with my current combo, I find that the new camera is getting in the way of me achieving the images that I want, then the newer one will be sold.

    Bests,

    David
    www.dsallen.de

  9. #39
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky View Post
    I thought a while back we decided we couldn't define "art".
    OK, how about - Photography is probably the easiest medium to produce stuff, but the most difficult medium in which to produce stuff, worthy enough to stick on a wall next to other stuff in an empty building.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  10. #40

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    "It's the easiest medium in which to be competent, but it's the hardest medium in which to have personal vision." Chuck Close on photography

    He said it all.

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